Reference : How representative are the online political forums? Analysis of the referendum campai...
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How representative are the online political forums? Analysis of the referendum campaign on national voting rights for foreigners
Kies, Raphaël mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
ECPR Joint Session
24th to the 28th of April
[en] e-democracy ; deliberation ; system theory ; voting rights ; online forum
[en] A common assertion is that online forums are not representative of the general public opinion but would reflect the behaviour and opinions of frustrated and extremist citizens. The objective of this paper is to empirically test this assertion by looking at the online debates about the referendum on the question of whether resident foreigners should under certain conditions (that will be specified) be allowed to vote for the national elections in Luxembourg. In order to measure the opinions emerging from the online forums, the author has gathered the comments of a selection of the most read and active campaign forums (more than 50 comments) and has coded them to determine if they are in favour or against the extension of voting right to foreigners. The representativeness of the online forms is evaluated by comparing these results with, on the one hand, the referendum outcome and, on the other hand, the data of a representative post-referendum survey that compares the opinions of people who were active in the online forum with the ones of passive users (reader but no posting) and non-users.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public ; Others

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